Happy New Year everyone!
Even though I had a great response to my last post and heard from some lovely readers, I still decided to drown myself in baklava. Because Pastor Gene told me to. And because my parents were kind enough to lend me most of the ingredients.
If you don't know what baklava is, you're in for a treat. I am ashamed to say that I didn't know until just a few weeks ago. And now? Well, now, I love. I yearn for its honey-sweetened nutness. It's light buttery crispness and ooey-gooey filling. It's a wonderful little sweet treat that tastes of honey and toasted nuts with a touch of dried fruit. Not too sweet. Not overwhelming. Just savory and delicious.
So here we go…
You will need:
*Note: I only use a half stick of butter and it is plenty.
Step One: Place your half stick of butter in a small saucepan and melt
Step Two: Combine the almonds, walnuts, breadcrumbs, apricots, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and ground cloves in your food processor. (If you don't have one, get your knife out and get to choppin'!)
Step Three: Once the ingredients are ground to a nice and course texture, add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and 3 tablespoons of honey. Pulse, or mix, this gently into the mixture.
Step Four: Take out your first piece of phyllo dough. Working on a clean, dry surface, gently brush over it with the melted butter. A pastry brush works best, but you can use your fingers as well. Once the phyllo dough is brushed with butter, take out another phyllo sheet and layer it right over the buttered sheet. Then, brush this sheet with butter as well. Repeat this layering/buttering routine until you have six layers of phyllo.
Step Five: Cut the phyllo into twelve squares.
Step Six: Place a small dollop of the honey-nut mixture in the middle of each square.
Step Seven: Pinch up the sides of the squares to cover the mixture. Repeat process with another sheet of phyllo dough to make another twelve squares and use the remaining mixture.
Step Eight: Place on a baking sheet, or in muffin tins, and bake at 350 degrees for roughly 20 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Step Nine: Eat.
Step nine is my favorite part.
It's totally worth the eight steps before it.
These little morsels are humble and homey and delicious. To be honest, I don't know where baklava comes from or it's history. I don't know anything about it really. I don't even know if this is really considered true baklava.
All I know is, this baklava is the right thing for you to do. It truly is.
And after you cave into the sweet pleasure and make this baklava, will you please bring some by my house? It seems as if some strange food-crazed blond creature has come and devoured all mine.
May your baklava making be wonderful and delicious.